Middle School Career and Technical Education
Posted on 02/16/2024
Middle School Career and Technical EducationChattanooga, Tenn. - Middle School Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are making a difference for young students across the district. Middle school CTE teacher Shara Kaminsky shares her perspective on how this resource helps students discover opportunities for their future.

"The more informed you are, the better prepared you can be, and the better the outcome," she explains.

CTE courses foster creativity and help students identify their passions and strengths. The program is designed to provide awareness of career options from middle school through high school. Students are exposed to technology basics, learning patience and comfortability in uncomfortable situations as they learn to code, develop small apps, build web pages, and work with Finch coding robots. Kamisky said results are exciting, and her favorite part is when students experience the “ah-ha” moment of learning something new.

For students who may not believe college is an option, connecting with community partners and mentors is a valuable experience. Educators are able to use curriculum tools like the MajorClarity platform to support students in exploring career options. MajorClarity connects students to personality and aptitude tests which allow them to begin to identify their strengths and interests and better understand which career paths are best suited for them. Teachers are able to use the platform to allow each student to learn about the industries and careers they’re interested in through interactive content and simulations. Our School Counselors and College & Career Advisors are then able to use the milestones students have completed in Major Clarity to drive their 6-year plans, so that each student has an individualized roadmap for their future that can grow with them.

Overall, the CTE program at Signal Mountain Middle High School is an excellent example of how schools can better prepare their students for the future. As is outlined by our Portrait of Graduate, students need characteristics beyond academic achievement to be life ready graduates. By providing valuable career insight and fostering creativity, these experiences ensure that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workforce.